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Stress-Free Tips On How To Seat Your Guests

An aerial shot of a lakeside reception

Start Early

This is one of the final tasks on your one and only to-do list. Here’s how to make playing musical chairs a breeze.

If you’re having 25 guests at a buffet, you may or may not want to give people specific seating assignments. But if you’re having 75 guests or more and serving a seated meal, you’ll want to make sure everyone’s got a specific place to sit. Why? For one, people like to know where they’re sitting—and that you took the time to choose where they should sit, and with whom. It is also quite helpful if you’re serving several different entrée choices, because the caterer and waitstaff can ususally figure out beforehand how many chicken, beef and vegetarian dishes a given table gets, because they know who’s sitting there. You can read on for some stress-free tips on how to seat your guests.

Start Early

How to organise a wedding seating chart: Settle your table plan peacefully with these tips

There are couples who’ve been at kitchen tables the night before the wedding (or even wedding morning) just starting their seating chart. Don’t let this be you—you’ve got more important things to think about at that point. Sure, it’s fine to make last-minute changes, but try to get the chart mostly done at least a week before the day.

Break It Down

Create a new spreadsheet. If you haven’t already, insert a column into your guest list document categorizing all the invitees by relationship: your friends, your family, your partner’s friends, your partner’s family, your family friends, your partner’s family friends and so on. This way, you’ll be able to easily sort the list and break it down into more logical table assortments. Now you’ll need to separate these lists into distinct tables.

Create a Paper Trail

After your beautiful ceremony and the delicious wedding canapés welcome drinks, the first thing your guests will see as they walk into your reception is the wedding table plan

If you’re more visual, draw circles (for tables) on a big sheet of paper and write names inside them (make sure you know how many people can comfortably be seated at each table). Or you could write every guest’s name on a sticky note and place it accordingly.

Place Your Parents

Traditionally, your parents and your partner’s parents sit at the same table,siblings not in the wedding party ,along with grandparents , and the officiant and their spouse if they attend the reception. But if your or your partner’s parents are divorced and are uncomfortable about sitting next to each other, you might want to let each set of parents host their own table of close family and/or friends. This could mean, up to four parents’ tables, it is depending on your situation—or if you have the divorced parent who raised you (or your partner) and their spouse/date can sit at the table with still-married parents.

Remember, the parent-seating question is a flexible one. Set it up in whatever way best suits everybody. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to talk to the parents in question about it before you make your final decision.

Tame Tensions

If you want to make your wedding guests happy there are a few things you can plan ahead and make sure they are available at your wedding, wedding planning tips to make everyone at your wedding happy.

There may also be situations in which certain family members just do not get along. Maybe they haven’t spoken in years. Maybe the last time they saw each other at the last family wedding there was a drunken fight. Understandably, you want to keep them as far apart as possible. Think about these kinds of relationships (or lack thereof) before you even start making your chart, so you can take them into consideration in the first place and begin by seating Aunt Jane at table three and Aunt Lucy across the room at table 15. Trust us—they’ll appreciate it.

Provide Reunion Time

All of your college friends or high school friends will be psyched to sit at a table together

All of your college friends or high school friends will be psyched to sit at a table together. It also gives them all an opportunity to catch up with each other, because they may not have seen each other for a while.

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